The Whole Picture

We took the trail by the lake last weekend at Circle B and watched once again as life and death struggles played out in front of us.

It is the real benefit of going early in the morning inasmuch as creatures are by far their most active as they begin their day with a search for food. Yes, the weather is also more pleasant at that time of the morning but it is really the witnessing of activity on the creature-stage that takes me there at that time.

We encountered all the usual suspects and it was hard to see everything because there was so much happening in all directions around us at the same time.

Armed with my trusty 600 mm lens, I did my best to capture some of it and I have attached thirty-plus images at the tail end of the blog.

But first I want to present 6 quick images (crops actually) the whole pictures of which are at the end among the others.

You see, it dawned on my as I went through the images, how deceiving or incomplete only seeing a certain portion of the image is. See if you can figure out all six before you go to the end.

In any event, it was this “part-of-the-picture” idea that captured my imagination and led me to today’s blog.

We can completely misunderstand or incorrectly identify things in life when we don’t take the time to see the whole picture.

Over the years I have seen many people jump to conclusions about someone or something when the wiser approach is to show more patience and wait for a clearer picture.

The world has molded us into early responders and converted much of our input into sounds bites that can shape our minds to believe what they want us to.

The political world is full of this on all sides, and in dominating the news cycle with 30-second summaries, it has fashioned our minds into thinking that all of life should work in the same way.

I’ve seen it watching sports games, where pundits will quickly tell us why certain teams have unraveled and will lose. I have seen it in movies where we leap to a quick decision on who the bad guy is and what will happen in the storyline.

In these instances, it doesn’t matter when they or we are proved wrong. Sporting losses and wins are largely irrelevant and movies are made to entertain us for just a moment of watching; not to leave a lasting impression.

But there is a real cost to being incorrect in assessing a real life situation or person that can be extraordinarily damaging.

People get married to someone they don’t really know, tell secrets to a BFF they only just met, profess hate of another based on something they just heard.

They take up jobs without knowing what it entails, decide to live someplace because they visited there once, and buy a new car because they like the color.

We all make decisions and not all of them are right. Even armed with the best of information, we can all make a mistake. But making a mistake because you didn’t bother to do the right homework is a poor excuse.

We learn from each mistake, or at least we should. But when outside pressures are continually honing our skills in instant decision-making rather than good decision-making, there is very little time for deciding, let alone learning.

Take your time, absorb as much information as you can about whatever is in front of you. And if you still get it wrong, then so be it. At least you tried.

… just a thought.